It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. The reasons for that are because firstly, I decided to try my hand at full individual album reviews, which I’m sure most of you have read by now. I know they suck, but i’m trying to get better at it, so bare with me there, and secondly, I haven’t really heard that many albums in the last month.
As I said in my last post on this blog. Wrestlemania was this past weekend, and leading up to the event I caught up on some new albums and movies I had yet to check out. These 5 albums were the ones I was the most intrigued by, thus why I chose them. They were mostly met with a positive reception by me… mostly.
Well, here are those albums.
Iron Reagan: Crossover Ministry
Starting things off with some more Retro Thrash! Iron Reagan, the side project of Municipal Waste voice Tony Foresta, is another product of the ‘Retro Thrash’ craze of today. Does that mean it’s bad? Surely not, because this is a very fun album. This is an excellent offering of fast, loud, energetic and relentless Crossover Thrash that doesn’t sound like a cheap imitation at all. Old school at heart but loud and young spirited, super aggressive and unrelenting, non-stop riffs and grooves and just balls to the wall crazy. I will say that it is a little weird for an older fellow like Foresta to be talking about partying at a house and pissing off the neighbors, but hey, that’s what this is all about; channeling the spirit of fun 80s Thrash and they do that well. Awesome track, by the way (Fuck the Neighbors). Highly recommended of you haven’t heard it already!
Assimilation: The Laws of Power
This is the debut album by these Canadian Death Thrash monsters and it is a fucking ripper! The best way I can describe this one is if you take Cannibal Corpse’s Eaten Back to Life & Tomb of the Mutilated and Death’s Human & Individual Thought Patterns, sprinkle a little early Slayer on top and put it into a blender, you get this. This album is a fithy, disgusting, extremely brutal and absolutely ruthless slab of Thrash-driven old school Death Fucking Metal. Raw, dirty production, sounds like an album straight out of the late 80s/early 90s, and just kicks you in the face from start to fucking finish. Easily the best 40 minutes of my 2017 thus far when it comes to Death Metal. Nothing much else to say about this one, really. Just a brutal fucking masterpiece. Give it a listen! I implore you.
Darkest Hour: Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora
It’s been quite some time since I’ve even thought about listening to anything put out by Darkest Hour. The style of their last number of albums just doesn’t do it for me. It’s just your typical Metalcore that can easily be heard on the Jamie Jasta-hosted Headbanger’s Ball from the mid 2000s. I am a fan, however, of their more aggressive earlier works like So Sedated, So Secure & Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation. Undoing Ruin was the last album that had me interested in these guys, everything after that one I just can’t get into. Then I found out about this album being released and heard a track from it by chance, I dug it! Then I found out it was produced by Kurt Ballou. Anything he touches has a good chance of being great. Just look at his resume. Anyway, I gave is a listen and alas, it’s their best one since Undoing Ruin!
This is the most aggressive and intense they’ve been in years and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it is. It still has your usual Metalcore tropes; Melodic Death Metal-ish riffs and a breakdown here a and there, but not overly done and therefore, I can look past it. This is a surprisingly good release by these guys and I recommend it to the open-minded! Well done.
Now on to the disappointment of the bunch…
There’s a reason I said these were mostly met with a positive reception by me. This was the reason. We all know Obituary are a fantastic band who have released some of the most recognized and celebrated classics in the entire history of Death Metal. Cause of Death & World Demise are two of my all time favorite albums in the genre. The ruthlessness and ferocity those albums brought to the table is stuff of legend. Most of their albums after that, spanning the mid to late 90s and the 2000s are also really good. What they have released so far in the 2010s, however, has been far from their best work. The only tracks on this one that I can say I really enjoyed were A Lesson in Vengeance and Kneel Before Me. Those two songs have the really dirty, intense and super brutal feel to them that embodies the Obituary of old. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends.
Overall, this isn’t necessarily a terrible album. It’s just very underwhelming. Even more so than Inked in Blood. Aside from those two bangers of songs that save it from being a total disappointment, that’s really all I can say about this one. Not Obituary’s best work by a longshot. Still love ’em though.
Closing out the weekend on the music front, we have some high quality, riffed up, groovy, catchy, old school stonery doomy goodness. Pallbearer return with their 3rd full length album and one of the most anticipated albums of the year thus far among many, with good reason too. If you take Pentagram and inject them with the majestic crushing heaviness of Candlemass & Solitude Aeternus and the sweet, dreamy flow of Windhand, they will become Pallbearer! These fellows bring to the table the perfect combination of crushingly heavy and harmonious and epic that creates such an eminent dynamic that allows you to just sit back, relax and just soak it all in and it holds your attention and awe from start to finish. Excellent album by an excellent band that gets better with each new release.
And those were this weekend’s listens. I’ll be back with more in the coming weeks. I have a SHIT ton of new Black Metal releases to catch up on and that will probably be the next Quick Album Thoughts post. So keep an eye out. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Here’s to the future!
Until next time.